The NFL released all schedules for the upcoming season, and Browns fans should be ecstatic. A franchise record 4 primetime games, as well as a very easy 2nd half schedule. On top of this, all but 1 of the teams’ divisional games come after Week 10. With that being said, you already know that I’m going to be doing a pre-draft mockup of the Browns season.
Week 1 – Home Opener vs. Tennessee (1-0)
This is a big game for the Browns, in terms of connecting as a team. There are a lot of new pieces on the offense and defense alike, and clicking could be the difference between a Super Bowl run and disappointing 8-8 year. Freddie Kitchens is a 1st year head coach, and a team like the Titans is a great game for him to gather his bearings. In terms of the actual opponent, the Titans stink and as much as I like Mariota at the QB and Derrick Henry at the RB positions, that’s all that they have going for them. Their defense is bad, and They’re a team that will finish 3rd in their division again, maybe eeking out a 9-7 record.
Week 2 – MNF @ NYJ (2-0)
The game that launched Baker Mayfield into stardom will be coming 1 week earlier, and on a bigger stage this time around. Many believed that the Browns made a mistake in taking Baker over Sam Darnold, and this is his chance to prove that Cleveland drafted correctly. The Jets added Le’veon Bell and C.J Mosley in the offseason, but still struggle mightily on offense, and lack a corner who could stop Odell Beckham Jr. or Jarvis Landry. While the Jets will undoubtedly do better than last season, the Browns should have an easy win here, moving to 2-0 in my mockup.
Week 3 – SNF vs. LAR (2-1)
This is the first true test for the young Browns team, and I think this will be a chance for the team to figure out some mistakes and become a top tier team despite a close loss. The Browns are pound-for-pound as talented as any roster in the NFL, the big difference here is the experience and coaching that the Rams have. Sean McVay is already a top 4 coach in the NFL, and he’ll be taking on a completely untested Freddie Kitchens. Expect the Browns to be handedly out-coached, and despite a very good effort, the Browns will take their 1st loss of the 2019-2020 season.
Week 4 – @ Baltimore (3-1)
This is the 1st Divisional matchup of the year, and it’s against the revamped Baltimore Ravens. Additions such as Earl Thomas and Mark Ingram make the team more powerful, but the big story is at the QB position. For the first time in a long time, Joe Flacco will not start the year under center in Baltimore. Lamar Jackson has been given the keys to the franchise, and I think he’s just another version of Colin Kaepernick. I say this in the sense that he had a very good couple of games for the Birds last year, but teams have now had an offseason to figure him out. Somehow, he’s a worse thrower of the ball then Kaep, and I’m projecting an awful year for the sophomore QB. Browns by double-digits.
Week 5 – MNF @ San Francisco (4-1)
The 49ers are going to come in strong next year. Between Jimmy Garoppolo returning from his torn ACL and the #2 pick, this team could be dangerous next year. With what will likely turn into Ohio State defensive lineman Nick Bosa, the #2 pick will greatly boost the Niners’ pass rush. On top of that pick, a series of offseason transaction gave the team former Tampa Bay star LB Kwon Alexander and the infamous Dee Ford. These are great players, and while San Francisco will likely compete for a Wild-Card spot, this team is not as talented as the Browns. Cleveland has a better pass rush, better offensive targets, a better QB and better DB’s. This one will be close, but the Browns learn from their loss against LA, Cleveland wins.
Week 6 – vs. Seattle (5-1)
The Seahawks just made Russell Wilson the highest paid player in NFL history, locking up one of the best QB’s in the NFL for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately for them, the rest of the team kinda stinks, and Wilson has no true receiving weapons. The Hawks are a run first team, and that plays perfectly into the d-line barrage that the Browns can offer. Also, the Legion of Boom is not the same when the stars are Bradley McDougald and Tre Flowers. Baker and the absolute unit of receivers at his disposal will dot up this team, and change a lot of people’s minds about the legitimacy of this team (Colin Cowherd).
Week 7 – Bye Week (5-1)
Week 8 – @ New England (6-1)
I know that I’m reaching here, but hear me out. New England is not the same as years past. Brady struggled badly in the playoffs, and Gronk is gone. Yes, they still have Bill Belichick. Yes, they manage to prove me wrong every single year. But, I won’t be wrong this time. Foxborough won’t have the same effect as if this game was being played in December, so the passing game will be alive and well. We’ve seen what a good tailback can do to the Patriots defense. Unfortunately, Kareem Hunt will still be unavailable at this point in the year, but Nick Chubb showed his worth last season and will be up to the task. Browns win by 1-4.
Week 9 – @ Denver (6-2)
This will be one of “those games” for the Browns. The type of game that you really shouldn’t lose, but still do. The altitude in Denver is always an issue, and the deep history between the two will make this a close game no matter what. I can’t tell you why, or how the Browns will lose this game, but it’s going to happen.
Week 10 – vs. Buffalo (7-2)
Buffalo is bad and Cole Beasley isn’t going to change that. I like watching Josh Allen, he’s an exciting player but unfortunately he is not very good. It’ll be a fun tail-gate though. Browns by 1,000,000
Week 11 – TNF vs. Pittsburgh (7-3)
Though I think that the Browns are a better, more talented team, the Steelers have a lot to prove, especially Big Ben and Mike Tomlin. Those two have been dragged for months due to the Antonio Brown situation, and they’ll be looking to show out. With the Browns coming off an easy win, they will likely start slow. The Steelers however, play the Rams in week 10 and they’ll be coming for blood against one of the best teams in the NFL. It’ll be close, and it won’t necessarily affect the AFC North title race but it’ll be heartbreaking for Cleveland.
Week 12 – vs. Miami (8-3)
This is another case of a team just not being very good. The Dolphins are in need of a franchise QB, RB, WR, OL, DL, LB, and DB. Oh, and their coach is gone so there’s really zero things going well for the Phins rn. Cleveland wins going away.
Week 13 – @ Steelers (9-3)
The Browns won’t lose this one. This team is too talented, too hungry, too good to lose to the Steelers twice. The Steelers offense will stall, Big Ben will show his age, Browns will win.
Week 14 – vs. Cincinnati (10-3)
Cincinnati should be in full rebuild mode at this point. They have wasted A.J. Green’s career, Andy Dalton can’t win in the playoffs. The only bright side for the Bungles is that Marvin Lewis is FINALLY gone. There is a 0.00000% chance that Cincinnati wins this.
Week 15 – @ Arizona (10-4)
Oh boy. The Cardinals will have exactly 1 quality win this season, and this is it. The Cards will likely have a new QB at the opening of the season, and I think that they’ll have a tough year to say the least. 3-13 this season will transform into 4-5 with the help of Kyler Murray simply due to his explosiveness. The roster as a whole is not very good, but you can’t be too much worse than a 3-13 that started with Sam Bradford as the QB. Unfortunately, 1 of those 4-5 wins is going to come against the Cleveland Browns. Amidst a very divisionally loaded back 9 so to speak, the 10-3 Browns will not get up to play a bottom of the barrel team. Arizona will pull off the major upset.
Week 16 – vs. Baltimore (11-4)
I don’t think that Baltimore, as I’ve stated earlier, is a very good team at all. The Browns will be FUMING after an embarrassing loss in Arizona, and the Ravens will feel the wrath of a potent Cleveland offense. Browns will win this one big, and it will solidify a top spot in the AFC Playoffs.
Week 17 – @ Cincinnati (12-4)
The Bengals are a really bad team, and even with Cleveland likely sitting a few players in order to rest up for the playoffs I can’t see the Browns losing this one. In what will be the cap to a historic season for the Browns, there will be a readiness that the team has never dealt with before. Hopefully, Freddie Kitchens and the rest of the few veteran presences that the team has will be able to rally the troops into a deep playoff run. The lack of experience will only hurt the team if they allow it to mess with their off-the-field decision making.
All that being said, I’m very excited for the Browns this season, and well into the future, This is one of the most talented groups that I have seen in some time, which leaves no excuses for not succeeding as a franchise. Be ready, and hold on tight because we’re about to see something that hasn’t been done in over 30 years. DAAAAWWWWWWGGGGGG CHHHHHEEEEEECCCCCKKKKKKKKKKK